WATCH: How To Get Rid Of Gnats For Good
If you've ever left some fruit out on the counter for just a bit too long, forgot to take the garbage out on time, or ever spilled a little juice or soda on the counter and didn't clean it up quick enough, you know what unintended consequences that can have: gnats.
Those itsy bitsy, teeny weeny flying monsters can infest your house fast. And, with warmer weather upon us it's easier than ever for them to invade. But, there are a few ways to both prevent and stop these tiny insect soldiers from taking over your house. Just follow these steps to keep your home gnat-free this summer and beyond.
Make sure they are actually gnats
Before you can get rid of gnats you must make sure that they are actually your problem in the first place. Mike Goldstein, a Certified Pesticide Applicator for Woodstream, explained to Good Housekeeping, fruit flies, drain flies and fungus gnats are three very similar bugs. But, if you can really check them out you can figure out what your problem really is. Fruit flies, he said, are brown with red eyes, while drain flies have fuzzy, moth-like wings and fungus gnats are black with long legs. And their names can help you identify them too: Fruit flies, well, they like fruit, drain flies love your sink, and fungus gnats love to invade potted plants.
Prevent them from coming in the first place
The major key to getting rid of gnats is never allowing them to thrive in your home in the first place. And that means keeping things squeaky clean. When you get home from the supermarket, immediately clean your fruits and veggies and store them inside the fridge rather than leaving them out on the fridge. That should help keep fruit flies at bay. For drain flies try cleaning your garbage disposal each week by sticking a few lemon rinds down the drain and grinding them up. This will help clean the drain, and make your kitchen smell lemon fresh. As for fungus gnats, the best way to keep them from ever coming into your home is to ensure proper watering and drainage of any plants. By never over-watering your plants won't harbor any fungus, thus becoming an unwelcome place for gnats to call home.
Try fly paper
These guys are small, which means they are nearly impossible to catch and kill by hand. Instead, try to capture them all with some good old-fashioned fly paper. Yes, just like your mom and her mom before her, you too can just hang up a bit of ribbon fly paper in the kitchen to catch the tiny bugs. To up the ante on a larger bug problem, invest in window fly traps, which are larger flypaper traps to hang over windows to trap even more bugs.
Make a wine trap
Here's one I can personally attest to working like a charm. When my kitchen became invested with these critters in summer, my own mom stopped by and taught me the ways of the wine trap. Simply take a container with a top and fill it about one-fourth of the way with some cheap red wine you've got laying around along with a drop or two of liquid soap. Next, take the top and poke a few small holes in it. Cover the container and let it sit in the corner for a few days. The gnats, fruit flies, and drain flies, will all be attracted to the sweet smell, fly inside, and get a little drunk before heading off to fly heaven.
Create an apple cider vinegar solution
If you don't want to waste a glass of good cabernet you could also create an apple cider vinegar solution instead. Popular Mechanics shared its tried and true recipe for getting rid of gnats, which includes mixing a half a cup of warm water, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, four to six drops of liquid dish soap, and one tablespoon of sugar. Mix the solution well until the sugar dissolves, then place in a container or bowl and leave out. Like the wine mix, this too will attract the bugs and kill them.
The good news is, the bugs listed above don't carry disease, and cannot bite you. That means, though annoying, they pose no risk to humans. Still, its your kitchen, not theirs. Take it back for good and win the war on gnats.